Kiwi-Bred Tornado Valley (NZ) Joins Elite $1 Million Club
6 December 2021
Tornado Valley (NZ) (Skyvalley) joined an elite group of New Zealand-bred trotters after winning his way to surpass $1 million in career earnings at Melton on Saturday night.
The champion squaregaiter just needed to cruise across the line and pick up some starter’s cash to complete the feat, but the superstar notched the milestone in true Tornado Valley style with a powerful front-running win in the $A24,000 Group Three Aldebaran Park R C Freestone Trotters Free For All (2240m).
Born and raised in Canterbury, Tornado Valley was bred by Petina Gaugler out of her Sundon mare Begin (NZ) and formerly raced with trainer Terry McMillan.
NZB Standardbred will offer a half-sister to Tornado Valley at the 2022 National Standardbred Yearling Sale in Christchurch. The filly (Lot 152) is by leading trotting sire Majestic Son and will be prepared by Donna Williamson, offered under her Belmont Stud banner.
Tornado Valley has reached superstar status under the expert guidance of Andy and Kate Gath, after leading Australian owner Norm Jenkin purchased him.
Gath paid tribute to Gaugler and McMillan for raising Tornado Valley to reach new heights.
“They gave him every chance, really took their time with him and didn’t over-race him before he came across to us. We’re really appreciative of that,” Gath said.
“We’re still in touch with them and I’m sure they’ll get a huge thrill from tonight as well.”
From his strong grounding in New Zealand, Tornado Valley has gone on to win nine Group One races and set the benchmark for trotting performances in Australia.
The nine-year-old’s resume includes his brilliant Interdominion Trotting Championship victory, two editions of the Great Southern Star – the richest trotting race in Australasia – as well as two Knight Pistol Trots, two Maori Miles, a Bill Collins Mile and an Australian Trotting Grand Prix.
In his 39 career victories, Tornado Valley has shown incredible speed and stamina and more recently longevity.
Andy Gath went into Saturday night’s feature knowing his star trotter was all class and was relieved when he was able to demonstrate his power again.
“It was a dominant performance tonight, it wasn’t unexpected, but you still have to come and do it,” he said. “It’s a bit of a relief, but it’s great that he’s still got life in his legs.”
Tornado Valley had been expertly handled throughout his Australasian career by Kate Gath who was full of praise for the trotter’s performance on Saturday night.
“Once I asked him he was just off and gone and he got to the line really well,” Kate Gath said.